Top Tips for Attending Hotel Industry Trade Shows
Trade Shows are a great place to acquire awesome ideas that can help elevate your hotel's brand. Here's are some top tips that will successfully guide you through your first trade-show experience.
- Get Educated
- Create a Game Plan
- Prepare to Network
- Have Fun
Take advantage of any educational resources that trade shows offer on their site.
First, research top hotel trade shows and conferences to see which ones you'd like to attend. If you're not sure which ones to go to, take a look at the list of companies that are attending the trade shows. Oftentimes, a trade show's website can help provide a description of what's to come at the event. If it is a continuous trade show, you might also find photos and details of the event from years prior. This can help you determine which ones you'd like to attend. Then, you want to make sure you register for the events you'd like to go to. Some trade shows have deadlines, so be sure to sign up to them right away. Once you register, mark them on your calendar and make your way onto the next step.
Identify your hotel's needs and scope out vendors who specialize in them.
For one thing, you're likely attending a trade show because there's a good chance you are seeking solutions to improve your hotel's branding. If this is your first trade show, know that there's no need to worry. First, you'll have to identify your hotel's issues and prioritize them by importance. You might find that it helps to write these points down in a little notebook. Then, you can take it to the tradeshow and use it to help guide your conversations at the event. Bringing that notebook can be useful for taking notes of each company before determining which one will suit your hotel best. You'll be meeting a great number of people and learning about many different companies, so don't forget to bring it along with you. Also, by analyzing why you're going to the trade show in the first place, you will end up feeling more confident in what you plan to communicate about. Then, you can go onto preparing to network.
Bring your business card and be open to connecting with peers.
Now, interacting with others from your industry is something you will definitely partake in. There are so many opportunities that can come from a friendly conversation, so make sure you're ready to network. In order to prepare for trade shows, practice how to introduce yourself and how you're going to express your hotel's wants. Since you've already created your game plan, it's time to focus on those hotel needs you've identified. Have them in mind and be ready to speak to multiple companies throughout your time at the trade show. The more you know about what your hotel's areas for improvement are, the better you can identify which company can provide the most suitable solution. Also, don't shy away from networking with other hoteliers. They can help influence ideas that you have never thought of for your hotel. Plus, it serves as a wonderful tool for comparing what your hotel does and doesn't offer in relation to other hotels in your area.
Utilize your time wisely and efficiently, and make sure you have fun in the process.
Ultimately, you go to a trade show to better your business. However, that's not to say that trade shows can't be extremely fun. Take advantage of this and enjoy the opportunity to interact with people who are essentially there to help you increase your hotel bookings. There are lots of booths where you can see, then and there, how your hotel can be positively influenced. Plus, some trade shows even offer dinners and interactive activities. You'll find that those participating in the event will also offer giveaways and discounts, so be sure to keep an eye out for those booths. There's so much to learn at trade shows, and so much gratification they can bring you.
If you're still not too sure where to begin, start by checking out our list of hotel trade shows and conferences.